This is the 3DS comparision
Feb 2010 (DS): 613k
Feb 2011 (DS): 456k
Feb 2012 (3DS): 262k
Feb 2013 (3DS): 183k
Feb 2014 (3DS): 151k
This is honestly bordering on a disaster, the way this market has shrunk since the introduction of the iPad in 2010 and the boom of gaming apps (Angry Birds being released in Dec. 2009).
Not selling as well as the best-selling handheld system ever = disaster. Soundwave, the Constructicons would like to have a word with you.
In all seriousness, though. You don't think it has anything to do with Nintendo's own actions, like, say giving it by far the highest launch price of any Nintendo handheld ever, followed by a price cut that still didn't get it down to parity with where the DS was, followed by an ill-conceived 2DS (dat form factor *shudder*), all combined with some tepid marketing (NoA's marketing department must have left on permanent vacation about 4 years ago)?
Also, the DS was trailing far behind the GBA for a good while. The GBA sold something like 4.7 million in 2001 (it debuted in June), almost 7 million units in 2002, around 8 million in 2003. Meanwhile, the DS sold something like 1.2 million in Q4 2004, about 2.6M in 2005, and over 5 million in 2006. It didn't really start to take off until the DS Lite was released.
Finally, as I've gone out of my way to explain over and over and over and over again on these forums, actually making serious comparisons between the sales curves of any two systems and using that comparison to seriously draw conclusions about future sales is, well, just wrong. The DS trailed behind the GBA initially. The PS3 was selling at barely above GameCube levels during 2007 and 2008 in the U.S. The Wii was selling faster than the PS2 in the U.S. initially. The 360 was flat for two years in Europe and three years in the U.S. Many people, including professional analysts, tried to make projections of future sales based on such comparisons, and in every case they were way off the mark. Right now people are talking about the PS4's first three weeks of sales in Japan being lower than the Wii U's first three sales as if it actually means something. This graph shows quite clearly that the "System A is selling at x% of what System B was at the same point in its life" kind of reasoning is always invalid:
I'm not saying that there's anything wrong about making predictions. There is something wrong about stating them as matters of fact, though. I don't take any of my own predictions seriously, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm likely to be wrong. We're all likely to be wrong. It's all just pure guesswork. Sure, the PS4 is selling at around PS2 levels in NA and Europe right now, but there's no reason to think that'll always be the case. It could end up trending way behind the PS2, or it could exceed all expectations. The 3DS may have peaked in America, or it might just be in a brief lull and 2014 could do as well as 2013; it could behave like the PSP (but with better holiday performances) for all we know. The XBO could keep doing terribly in Europe, or it could rebound like the 360 did and narrow (but not close) the gap between itself and the PS4. The Vita, after performing terribly everywhere, is actually starting to do decently in Japan relatively speaking and could be up YoY for the second year in a row; it's still not doing great, but it's doing considerably less bad than most would have though a year ago. All the "Doom" and "Disaster" stuff is getting old fast. Same for any premature "Domination" rhetoric. Even as far as two or three years into a generation it can be too early to call.